February 13, 2015

Red & Black, and Black & Red

, and more on Eberstein.

From the ad in The American Stationer, Nov 26, 1921, p.6.

[Posted on L&P on Aug 13, 2010.]
       This is all about the Black Top, the Parker Duofold color scheme, red with black tips. Here are all the trademarks for the Red Hard Rubber Duofolds.  Parker’s US trademark no. 155,044 from May 16, 1922, but used since Sept 1, 1921, is for the word “Duofold” used for “Fountain Pens”.  It was registered by William Fink Palmer, at this time the treasurer of the Parker Pen Co., but at other times also secretary and president.  There is no certificate on the USPTO website for trademark no.
163,481 from Jan 16, 1923, but said to be used since Aug 25, 1921, Parker’s trademark for the Duofold pen color scheme, which is a shame because it’s such a pretty image.  I got a copy of the application file, and it shows a cross-hatched, black-and-white rendition of a red hard rubber pen body with black hard rubber ends.  It was advertized with the phrase “Rivals the beauty of the Scarlet Tanager”.  And here’s another usual reverse situation, a trademark issued after the fact.  The word “Duofold” was trademarked again on Nov 4, 1924, but was said to be used since Sept 1, 1923, US trademark no. 191,306 for “Pens And Pencils”.  This is not a typo for 1921, but rather a re-trademarking of the name after the inclusion of pencils in the Duofold line.  The usual reverse situation is that a trademark is issued after, and sometimes well after, the fact of the commercial use of the name or mark.  These trademarks were part of Parker’s unsuccessful attempt to stop all the Duofold look-alike pens in the 1920s, pens such as the red hard rubber Diamond Point Pen Co. “Tucolor Fill E-Z” pen with its black hard rubber cap and barrel tips.  And last but not less red, US trademark no. 943,258 is for the Parker Pen Co. name “Big Red” for their Duofold-tribute felt-tip and ballpoint pen, issued on Sept 19, 1972, but  used since Apr 10, 1970.  See also the underwear, or “softwear”, in US trademark nos. 195,873, 784,484, and 857,073, and patent no. 709,734.  The name “Dudfold” [sic] mentioned in the last trademark, but only in TESS in the USPTO website, is a misspelling, or optical-character-recognition problem, but a spelling that’s quite apropos for clothing.  A Duofold-look-alike fountain pen was even used as the iconic image of a pen in Gerald Murphy's 1924 painting titled “Razor”.  The image depicts a pen with a safety cap, but also a safety razor, and a box of safety matches.  Do you get the picture?
        But this is also about the Red Top, the reverse-Duofold type, the opposite color scheme of black with red tips, except that it preceded the Duofold. This type includes such pens as the German “Rouge et Noir”, which is actually and more correctly a “Noir et Rouge”.  Eugen Hahn and August Eberstein’s UK patent no.
13,900 from June 15, 1907, is the patent for the solid-colored cap top of the “Rouge et Noir”, at first solid red, but later a solid white top.  The colored top helped to mark the top end of a safety eyedropper pen so that the user could keep the nib-end up in a pocket, but it quickly evolved into a company emblem.  The pens went on to become the “Montblanc” fountain pens of the Simplo Filler Pen Co. in Germany, and the emblem evolved first into a six-pointed, rounded-tipped, red star, but when Montblanc trademarked the emblem in Germany on Jan 14, 1913, it was a six-pointed, rounded-tipped, white star.  US trademark no. 839,016 is the modern renewal of the trademark in the US.  Pen collectors sometimes irreverently call it the “white bird splat”, or the “Montblanc splat”.  That makes the “Rouge et Noir” emblem a “red splat”.  US patent no. 766,560, Otto E. Weidlich, “Fountain-Pen”, Aug 2, 1904, is for a matchstick filler marketed as a “Simplo Filler” well before Montblanc used the name.  US trademark no. 118,721, David T. Kaufmann, “Trade-Mark For Fountain-Pens”, Sept 25, 1917, is for the word “Star” and a six-pointed star, used by Weidlich-Simpson Pen Co. since Oct 30, 1914, but this time well after Montblanc used the splat, and perhaps another case of one company riding on the coattails of another, or being influenced by another.
        And here’s the rest of the August Eberstein story.  It turns out that Eberstein was related to Otto E. Weidlich.  He was born in Germany as Carl August Henrich Weidlich, but when he came to the US, he took the surname Eberstein, from his mother’s side, in order to distinguish himself from the other Weidlichs already in the pen business in the US, specifically his brother Otto E. Weidlich.  So perhaps Otto got the the star trademark from August, and August got the Simplo name from Otto.  After Eberstein went to Germany in 1906-7, he worked with Eugen Hahn, and received a UK patent and a French patent in 1907 for a pen with a white cap top that was a precursor to the splat on the Montblanc cap.  In 1908-10, he was the factory manager, engineer, and one of the founders of the Simplo Filler Pen Co., in Hamburg, Germany, the company that later became Montblanc.  They made the “Rouge Et Noir” with its red splat.  He secretly sold company equipment and materials to finance his lifestyle, and was taken to court, but he disappeared to the UK with his family, and worked with Ernest Macauley Wade, 13 Hope St., Liverpool, England, and received another UK patent in 1912.  In 1914, while being registered in Britain as a German national at the beginning of WWI, he was fined when it was discovered that he was using two different surnames.  He returned to the US in late 1914, or early 1915, but he went back to Europe in 1916, and switched back to using the surname Weidlich.  He was in Switzerland for the duration of the war, then in Munich, Germany, in 1921, and in Dresden, Germany, 1936-39.  He received three German patents, and stayed in the pen business till his death sometime in 1945.  His son says he died during a WWII bombing, and if his last known location was Dresden, then that adds up to a horrific end to his life.  He held six American patents, 1903-05, two British, 1907-11, one French, 1907, and three German, 1931-39.
        The Parker “Nurse Pen”, a short #20 button filler with Jack Knife Safety cap and washer 

clip, a BHR or BCHR cap and barrel, and RHR blind cap and cap top, would have been the exact opposite of the Duofold, if it would have had a RHR section.  Some of the Ormiston & Glass stylographs in the series called “The Kennel Stylo Pens”, namely the “Terrier” and “Bulldog” stylos, were available in both red-with-black-tips and black-with-red-tips versions, although they were called “Black & Tan”.  US trademark no. 129,695, Mar 9, 1920, is for the name “Red Top”, used by the Evans Dollar Pen Co. since July 1, 1917.  Evans also had US trademark no. 129,696 
for a white disk on the end of the cap, issued on Mar 9, 1920 and used since Aug 11, 1919, and US trademark no. 138,001 is for the name “White Top”, issued on Dec 14, 1920 and also used since Aug 11, 1919.  Salz Bros. also made fountain pens called the “Red Top”, and their US trademark no. 155,280 is for the name “Black and White”, issued on May 23, 1922 and used since Sept 1, 1921.  The Diamond Point Pen Co. also made a black hard rubber “Tucolor Fill E-Z” pen with red hard rubber cap and barrel tips, and there is also the black hard rubber Mabie Todd red-winged “Blackbird” with its red hard rubber lever.
        John C. Wahl’s US trademark no. 125,547 is for “Leads For Mechanical Pencils” with their ends painted red, issued on May 20, 1919 and used by the Wahl Co. since Oct 29, 1918.  US trademark no. 159,571, “Leads Suitable For Use In Mechanical Pencils”, issued on Sept 26, 1922 and used since Feb 2, 1920, is for an image of the imprints for the little metal boxes for the Wahl Co.’s “Red Top” Eversharp pencil leads, the boxes with the top or cover painted red to mimic the leads themselves.  And US patent no. 1,428,195 issued to John C. Wahl and Peter G. Jacobson on Sept 5, 1922, and assigned to the Wahl Co., is for the familiar little “Red Top” metal box made with dovetail joints, a nice little example of joinery in metal.
        US trademark no. 162,063, Richard Wightman’s “Trade-Mark For Fountain Pens” issued on Dec 5, 1922 is for an image of a pen that indicates that the end of the barrel is red.  It was advertized as the pen with the “red-headed filling pump”, and was used by the Dunn Pen Co. since September 1920.  Actually, it only has a red head if you don’t post the cap while writing.  When you cap the pen and hold it upright, instead of a red head, it has a red bottom.  It all depends upon whether the pen is capped, or the cap is posted during writing.  There is also US trademark no. 165,927, Aniceto Visitacion, “Fountain Pens”, Mar 20, 1923, for the “Blue-Red Fountain Pen” symbol, used since Nov 4, 1920.  And lastly, here are a few more wooden-pencil trademarks for partly-red pencils.  And finally, US trademark no. 143,316, Harry Dailey, “Lead Pencils”, May 31, 1921, is for the name “Red & Black” on a red-and-black pencil, used by John Dixon Co. since 1905, probably a flat-octagonal framer’s pencil with alternating red and black facets.

George Kovalenko.